News Story

Michigan lawmakers send $1.2M to wealthy cities for splash pads

Novi, with per-capita income 61% higher than state average, gets $200K

Michigan lawmakers spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds on earmarks this session, sending state funds to specific communities. The giveaway includes $200,000 for a splash pad in the city of Novi, an affluent community in Southeast Michigan. Ann Arbor will also get $1 million for a splash pad, as CapCon previously reported.

The 2024 state budget has no formal process for granting funding to particular pork projects. Legislators typically request money for projects in their districts. There are no criteria for assessing if the grants are a good use of taxpayer funds.

Novi’s median household income was $100,311 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That is 59% more than the state average of $63,202. The city’s per capita income, $55,807, is 61% higher than the state average of $34,768. The city’s poverty rate of 4% is tiny when compared to the state rate of 13%.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.